Types of Disabilities
The following information regarding the 13 disabilities under IDEA 2004 is as follows:
Auditory Impairment (AI)
Means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Autism (AU)Means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, which adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
Deaf-Blindness (DB)Means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness
Emotional Disturbance (ED)Means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance as defined in this section.
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; and
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Learning Disability (LD)Means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. This category does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, or emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Intellectual Disability (ID)Means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Multiple Impairments (MI)Means concomitant impairments, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple impairments does not include deaf-blindness.
In order to meet the definition of Multiple Impairment,
- the student's disability is expected to continue indefinitely; and
- the disabilities severely impair performance in two or more of the following areas:
- psychomotor skills;
- self-care skills;
- social and emotional development; or
Orthopedic Impairment (OI)Means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congential anomaly, impairments caused by disease, and impairments from other causes
Other Health Impairment (OHI)Means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the learning environment that is due to chronic or acute health problems and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Speech Impairment (SI)Means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)Means an injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects the child’s educational performance. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries by birth trauma.
Visual Impairment (VI)Means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Noncategorical Early Childhood (NCEC)Means a student between the ages of three through five who is evaluated as having mental retardation, emotional disturbance, a specific learning disability, or autism may be described as noncategorical early childhood. The student must meet all of the eligibility criteria for the appropriate handicapping condition, MR, ED, LD, or AU in order to consider the use of NCEC.